It’s a selling method that’s become increasingly popular across real estate markets, and with the shift in the property market due to COVID-19, off-market sales have become even more appealing.
While off-market sales certainly open a world of opportunity for buyers, the key is understanding how to navigate what can be an unfamiliar process. Here’s what you need to know.
What is buying off-market?
An off-market property is basically a property that is for sale, without being publicly listed and advertised online (or on any of the property portals). Traditionally off-market was a sale method used mainly for high end properties whose owners sought discretion. But its benefits for buyers and sellers mean it’s become much more widely used.
It’s all about connections
The first step to a successful off-market purchase is signing up to the right newsletters and connecting with the right agents. Not everyone will offer off-market opportunities, so a little bit of research will go a long way.
“Check for off-market options on real estate agency websites, this will usually lead you to a subscription area where you can sign up for off-market property alerts aligning to your budget and preferences,” says Nick Boyd, Head of Network Growth, Belle Property.
“Speaking directly with real estate agents in the area you are interested in can also be beneficial. When an agent knows a buyer is serious, they will contact them directly about new off-market properties, often before an email alert is sent to subscribers, putting you in the best negotiating position.”
The need for speed
A homeowner that opts for off-market is usually looking for a fast sale so buyers who move quickly will be the frontrunners to securing the property.
“There’s also typically less room for negotiation so having a budget set, finance organised and a mortgage broker and solicitor ready to act on your behalf is a must,” says Nick.
One of the biggest benefits for buying off-market is that it’s generally less stressful. Of course, every property transaction has its pressure points, but when you go off-market there are some things you can kiss goodbye.
“You don’t need to go to several inspections and there is no need to compete at an auction. When it’s off-market, the homes are sent to you and match your set criteria and budget so it can reduce some of the stress of house hunting,” says Nick.